Happy New Year!

30 Dec
This place is so beautiful!

This place is so beautiful!

It feels like this week went by both really slowly and really quickly, if that makes sense. The first half of the week was spent talking to everyone we could about “He is the Gift”! We spent all of Tuesday afternoon street-contacting in downtown Missoula. There were lots of last minute shoppers to talk to on the street thankfully!

Christmas Eve was the best. We had District Meeting in the morning, and was just really special. Our district leader, Elder Braden, gave each of us short passages in the scriptures about Christ’s life to read, and we made a massive list of Christlike attributes. Then we gathered as a zone and had a testimony meeting. It was such an uplifting experience. For Christmas Eve dinner, we and the elders went to a 4th ward member’s home, the Howards. Sis. Howard is a single mom of four and we had a blast over there. We played Apples to Apples after dinner, and I haven’t laughed that much in a long time. The BEST part of the night was after that though. We went with Elders Burnham, Kennedy, Braden, and Bird to carol to the houses surrounding the stake center. Everyone we caroled to was so kind and excited to see us! People were trying to give us money even! (Which we of course declined). One family invited us in for a solid ten minutes and were taking pictures with us and putting them on Facebook… we seriously felt like the rockstars of Christmas. As we left each door, we couldn’t help smiling and remarking on how we all just felt like a million bucks. It was the best way to spend a Christmas Eve!

A Merry Montana Christmas!

A Merry Montana Christmas!

And then it was Christmas!! We even woke up to a white Christmas, which was unexpected. We had Christmas breakfast with some different 4th ward members, then we came back and skyped our lovely families. 🙂 Then we spent the afternoon at the institute building with some of the other missionaries playing ping pong and pool and such. Then we had Christmas dinner with a different family, and then came back home and studied our scriptures until bedtime. 🙂 I finished the Book of Mormon again on Christmas! I had set it as a goal to finish on that day, and it worked out perfectly. In this past reading, I underlined all of the covenants and promises in the Book of Mormon… it was awesome. This time through, I am going to write in the margins and record principles, thoughts, and general notes. On Friday, we had interviews with the new member of the mission presidency, Pres. Holmes. I had met him briefly at Stake Conference, so it was good to get to know him better- he is a great man! This week, the first ward sisters transferred us a YSA guy named Brett that they have been teaching. When we started teaching him this week, he opened up about a lot of his concerns and doubts… he didn’t tell the other sisters because he didn’t want to let them down. That made me really sad that he didn’t feel like he could be honest, but we are continuing to work with him and to help him through this trial.

Karen's baptism!!!!

Karen’s baptism!!!!

Ok, here’s the BEST news of my entire letter! Karen got baptized on Sunday!!!! It was such an amazing day. So back in late August/early September, Sister Gold and I ended up hanging around the institute building later than we usually do after an institute class. And Bishop Blair also happened to be there, which is crazy because he was only there during the day TWICE the entire semester. In walks Karen, and she wanted to ask someone about her questions. Bishop Blair talked to her first, and then he introduced her to us…. and we’ve been teaching her ever since! It wasn’t the smoothest path, but conversion rarely is. Karen is amazing, and is one of my closest friends even apart from the mission. I feel so privileged and blessed to have been able to be with her since the start. Her boyfriend, Tylor, was able to baptize her and Bishop Blair confirmed her. The baptism service was at 9am on Sunday, and then we had church at 10am! Ahhh, it was just perfect. I am not worried about her staying active at all- she has great support and she is also self-reliant in her testimony. Sunday was just the start of her new life!

Eh, it's just a little snow.

Eh, it’s just a little snow.

This weekend, true winter finally hit! It was colddddd. We got about 5 to 6 inches of snow yesterday, and the wind was just blowing like mad! We kept a positive attitude about it while we were out tracting though, and I think people invited us in out of pity at times… haha, oh well. 🙂 I wore my heavy duty snow boots yesterday too for the first time in a while. I hope you all have an awesome New Years!!! I’m not quite sure what our plans are yet… we’re allowed to be out until 10:30, but we will probably go to bed at our normal time because we have to wake up at our normal time. Love you all, and have a happy week!

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